Bill 279: Environmental Protection Amendment Act (Microplastics Filters for Washing Machines), 2021

Ontario Members of Parliament Ian Arthur and Jessica Bell have tabled Private Member's Bill 279: Environmental Protection Amendment Act (Microplastics Filters for Washing Machines), 2021. "The Bill amends the Environmental Protection Act to prohibit the sale or offering for sale of washing machines that are not equipped with a specified microplastics filter and to provide for corresponding penalties in case of non-compliance with the requirement."1.(Status: First reading has carried, the bill must pass thru 2nd and 3rd readings.)
Polystyrene foam litter from docks

Most people wouldn't just throw plastics into the water. Unfortunately, we do so when we wash our clothes. In a washing machine cycle, our clothes shed up to hundreds of thousands of microfibres that go down the drain to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), and a lot of those are plastic like acryclic or polyester. Microfibres are so small (less than 5 mm in size) that WWTP can't stop them all. 1 to 10% get through into waterways, which add up to billions and billions in an environment where they can be ingested by aquatic wildlife. Sadly, plastic microfibres are not ever going to biodegrade - they are just going to keep accumulating and persisting in our aquatic environment. Filters on washing machines can stop more than 85% of these fibres before they go down the drain. Washing machines equipped with effective filters are a key solution to staunching more of this pollution.

SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO BELOW.

What can you do?

1. To support the Bill, you can follow these steps:
Write/email your local Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) wherever you are a constituent in Ontario (maybe in 2 places). Content should include:
  • I am a constituent (include address)
  • I support Bill 279: An Act to amend the Environmental Protection Act with respect to microplastics filters for washing machines. You could include a personal concern such as: “I am concerned about water quality” Or “I am concerned about microfibre pollution and its risks the health of aquatic life .”
  • Sign off with urging your MPP to support the Bill
  • Copy Government House Leader Paul Calandra, the Deputy Government House Leader Andrea Khanjin, and the Honourable Jeff Yurek (Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks)
  • How do I find my MPP’s email address? Please use this finder if your MPP is not listed below. If you scroll down on the finder page, you will see that you can punch in your postal code and your MPP will appear.

    Here are a few important COPY emails and a few local Georgian Bay MPPs that might apply to where you live:
    1. COPY: Government House Leader Paul Calandra paul.calandra@pc.ola.org
    2. COPY: The Deputy Government House Leader Andrea Khanjin andrea.khanjin@pc.ola.org
    3. COPY: The MPPS who intiated the Bill: Ian Arthur IArthur-QP@ndp.on.ca and Jessica Bell JBell-QP@ndp.on.ca 4. COPY: MPP Jeff Yurek (Minster of the Environment, Conservation and Parks): minister.mecp@ontario.ca

    Some Geogrian Bay MPPS, if these are your MPPs:
    MPP Norm Miller (Parry Sound- Muskoka) norm.miller@pc.ola.org
    MPP Jill Dunlop (Simcoe North) - jill.dunlopco@pc.ola.org
    MPP Bill Walker (Bruce Grey Owen Sound) - bill.walkerco@pc.ola.org
    MPP Jim Wilson (Simcoe-Grey) - jwilson@ola.org

More information:

If you wish to understand more about this pollution issue and more about what you can do, please visit: Microplastics and Microfibres Impacts

1To SEE the status of the Bill and its contents, please visit this page: Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Bill 279